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This article was published 8/10/2014 (2211 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Winnipeg’s new-homes market came plummeting back to earth last month, posting a 33 per cent drop in housing starts after seeing them soar by 147 per cent in August.
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) said there were 338 new single- and multi-family starts recorded last month in the Winnipeg Census Metropolitan Area (CMA), compared with 504 in the same month in 2013.
The decline was felt on both sides of the market. Single starts were down 27.7 per cent to 146 units from 202 units, while multi-family starts were off by 36.4 per cent to 192 units from 302.
But despite the dropoff in actual starts, the longer-term trend, which is the six-month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates of total starts — was still up from a year earlier — 5,484 units compared to August’s total of 5,216.
"September marks the sixth consecutive month of increase for the trend in total housing starts," said Dianne Himbeault, CMHC’s Senior Market Analyst for Winnipeg.
"The increases are supported by an elevated pace of construction in the multi-family sector, particularly in July and August. Single-detached starts continue to lag last year’s levels, as builders are facing increased competition from the resale market and a shift in demand to higher density options," Himbeault added.
Nationally, the pace of housing starts in Canada picked up slightly in September as work began on more multiple-unit dwellings including condominiums, CMHC said.
It said there were 17,343 actual starts during the month. Extrapolated over 12 months, that produced a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 197,343 starts, up from 196,283 in August.
Economists had expected the annual pace to come in at 196,100 on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to Thomson Reuters.
CMHC’s six-month moving average increased to 197,747 units in September compared with 191,095 in August.
"The increase in the trend reflects stronger starts activity since April, largely concentrated in multi-unit dwellings including condominiums," CMHC chief economist Bob Dugan said in a statement.
"However, the currently elevated level of condominium units under construction supports our view that condominium starts should trend lower over the coming months."
The housing starts data followed a report Tuesday by Statistics Canada that the value of building permits issued by municipalities plunged 27.3 per cent in August far more than the 12.5 per cent drop that economists had expected, according to Thomson Reuters.
BMO Capital Markets senior economist Robert Kavcic noted that Canadian housing starts appears to have hit a ceiling at the 200,000 level.
"This will let policy-makers breathe easier, and suggests that overall building activity in Canada remains within the range required to satisfy demographic demand," Kavcic wrote in a note to clients.
— Staff/Canadian Press
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